Have you ever wondered what stories your loved ones will tell about you in the future?
“I’m going to ask you a question, and I want to you to answer it with no filter or thought,” I say to our youngest boy this afternoon, “are you ready?”
His little freckled brow furrows and he nods cautiously, he’s learning about women and their pesky questions early, “yeeeees?”
I take a deep breath, because I’m actually genuinely scared of what he might say, and how it might feel, but I’m going to be a badass and ask anyway.
“What stories do you think you’ll tell about me when you’re older? Remember no filter, just whatever comes into your head.”
The scene slows in my head. Stops. I’m underwater, my tummy is doing somersaults because I want to be unconditionally loved by my son. I feel vulnerable.
In that moment too, I challenge myself, am I asking because I’m curious, or for validation? I know it’s curiosity because if I hear an answer I don’t like, I am ready to face any shame head on and change the story. I’m looking to change how I am to him, it’s that important.
“Love.” he says without hesitation.
I falter; did I lead the witness, did it seem to him as if I were fishing? He’s stroking the puppy, looking straight at me; from the mouths of babes,
“What about love, Sweetie?”
“Your love, you’re loving and caring.”
“And Dad, what stories will you tell about Dad?” Dad is sitting right here too.
“The same, love; he’s loving and caring.”
“And are there any differences between the loves of the two?”
Pauses. “Well you love writing and reading, and he loves sport.”
So there you have it, love in its many forms.
It’s up to us to shape the stories for our loved ones to tell about us. There is surely no greater legacy.